I suspect that I’ve blown one of my speakers of my FP4.
I’d like to know if there is a good method to check for a blown speaker specifically and if I’m correct in thinking that I could by a new speaker, such as this one: Fairphone 4 Earpiece - Spare Part | Fairphone and replace the damaged speaker myself by following one of the repair guides available on this website.
Thanks in advance
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If you haven’t done so yet, you can call * # * # 2 8 8 6 # * # * to access a large number of hardware tests. i think in your case you will need to look for AUDIO (which includes several microphone and speaker tests). You’ll need to figure out which speaker is the one in question here as there is an earspeaker as well as the external speaker (at the phone’s bottom end).
I’ve used a stereo test video in youtube instead if the hardware test, as the test audio is too low in quality to determine anything but the speaker working at all. I’ve since then purchased a replacement for the earpiece and installed it, sadly the rattling still continues. Since I’m assuming that the replacement speaker is working correctly, I think the rattling instead stems from the speaker vibrating in its mounting. Does anyone else have experience with rattling noises on high pitches from the speaker? I was wondering if using a little bit of padding of any kind could stop the speaker from rattling in its mounting, if that is indeed the issue.
I don’t think it’s rattling, it’s just clipping at any volume above 50%
My solution was disabling it:
The thing is that I didn’t have that issue at first, back when I got the phone. And I’ve just replaced the earpiece speaker with a replacement one. So unless the replacement is just as broken as the original speaker, I don’t think the speaker is what causes the problem.
I’m thinking of maybe glueing the speaker to the mounting, which would go against the spirit of the fairphone, but maybe that will help with the rattling. My best guess at the moment is that the speaker, when vibrating, causes the rattling when coming into contact with its mounting.
Edit: I used the first 25 seconds of this song to test for rattling. I find it to be unbearably obvious that the speakers rattle during those first 25 seconds, if the sound is above 50%.
You could use double sided sticky tape, which will be easy to peel away.
Interesting that you didn’t have any issues at first, I have access to two FP4s and both sounded awful from day one
If you actually find a way to fix this, that would be awesome
I have no solution to offer. But I just recognized I have the same problem. I did choose a piano piece, played it on full volume and then shifted the audio like @hirnsushi described. The difference is incredible! Maybe some more FP4 owners can try this.
edit: Take off the back cover and apply some slight pressure directly on the green circle with the camera and speaker icons. This improves sound quality by a lot!
edit 2: Now it doesn’t work.
edit 3: I actually covered the left part of the small cut on top of the display with my other fingers holding the device and blocked the speaker doing so.
edit 4: Let’s hope the distortion isn’t due to the image stabilizator rattling. But even when I switch the sound fully to the upper speaker, I get a clear sound when I cover the left part of the slit on top of the display. So there could be hope…
edit 5: The rattling continues without the cameras. The loudspeaker itself delivers a clean sound, the problem begins as soon as it is mounted in its final position.
edit 6: The distortion does not occur if the display isn’t mounted. Removing the front camera isn’t helping.
I actually tried it the other day with an pipe organ piece Video I recorded in a church and changing to mono and the bottom speaker is a bit better, the Video is incredible bad when Volume is above 100% in VLC. I also recorded an organ pipe piece with the simple mobile tools soundrecorder and this is way better without changing to Mono and Bottom only, so seems it also to depends on the tool used to record? Using Spotify on max Vol def. needs the change to mono and bottom speaker. Musik from SD card is better without changing to mono and bottom speaker.
after that it was incredible worse and I had to restart the phone
I’ve tried putting two pieces of tape on top of the speaker (more tape wasn’t possible), to get it mounted more firmly …
… didn’t change anything.
As you’ve probably noticed when taking it apart, that’s where the speaker is
For anyone looking to replicate this issue, turn up the volume and play this track:
Yeah, at the end I just was quite surprised that a big part of the cut seems just to be there to keep it symmetrical. Or to let the sound travel to your ear even when it’s on the right side?
Even a gap of just a millimeter seems to be enough to let the noise disappear.
In the end I even checked different frequencies using Signal Generator. The only insight I got was that the speaker can become quite hot. Hard to tell if the sound is distorted at certain frequencies, at least for me.
So as soon as the display or the speaker is mounted and the air has to leave through the cut in the display module, the sound problem occurs. I tried to stuff every inch between the speaker and the display with audio foam, but that didn’t help either.
Are you sure about that or is there a chance that you just didn’t notice it at first? It doesn’t seem to be a problem with lower volumes.
I’m asking because it feels like the problem lays in the design itself. Maybe it’s just the mesh which covers the cut-out (visible in the picture), but I’m to scared to remove it since this opens the gates for debris of all kinds to enter the phone (at least up to the speaker).
Gluing the speaker to the case won’t help you, at least that can be told for sure.
Would be interesting to know if there is anyone around, who can currently play music at full volume without having this kind of problem. For me, this video was even worse than the song linked by @hirnsushi:
Will just add this to my open ticket, and link to this topic…
I also have this problem, the top speaker sounds so bad at above 50% that I thought it was broken. Submitted a support ticket, after some basic diagnostics they said to send my phone to their repair shop in another country. That would mean weeks without the phone, and I would have to backup everything and switch to another phone, which is very inconvenient. So instead I ordered a new earpiece.
That did not solve the problem, and only now I discovered this forum post.
I also did not notice this issue for the first several months, and I think I would have, it’s quite obvious how bad it is.
@yvmuell any chance your ticket had a productive answer?
No nothing useful at all…
This seems to be the only possible workaround at the moment. Very inconvenient at first, but I don’t even notice it anymore. But I don’t play.any games or watch movies on my phone, so that I would really need stereo sound. Calls still work with the upper speaker afterwards.
But still, working hardware would be a lot better…
I had only one problem, suddenly only mono output to one ear with my bluetooth headphones. Can’t remember if that was caused by a system update or new headphones
I’ve solved that with some automation in Easer that runs
settings put system master_balance 0.0 && settings put system master_mono 0 whenever a Bluetooth audio device is connected, and reverses it afterwards.
support asks if anything changed with Android 12🙃
I would so no.
Sadly, I can even guarantee them that nothing will change with Android 13.
The only way I see this getting better on stock is if they change the balance a bit more to the bottom speaker so the top one never gets into a range where it can’t cope with the high frequencies anymore.
The amount of negative side-effects could be problematic though, see my bluetooth headphones problem …
I’d probably consider this issue wontfix
Last reply, so far they will not call this a wontfix…
Currently, the experts in our Software and Quality Team are investigating the issue and are liaising with the manufacturer to find the quickest possible solution.